Sports briefs for Thursday

LSU basketball teams in ‘Mall Ball’ event

The LSU men’s and women’s basketball teams will make their first appearance of the school year at the second annual “Mall Ball” event at the Mall of Louisiana on Sunday.

Members of both teams will sign autographs and take photos with fans from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the Dillard’s wing of the mall.

The event kicks off the “Road to Tipoff,” a series of preseason appearances for the Tigers and Lady Tigers around Baton Rouge and the LSU campus as they move toward the start of the 2014-15 season.

All events are free and open to the public.

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LSU golfers to enter season ranked No. 9

The LSU men’s golf team will open the season ranked No. 9 when they tee off in the first round at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic on Friday.

The Tigers ended 2013-14 season with a run to the NCAA semifinals where they tied for third place.

The Tigers are among eight Southeastern Conference teams cracking the GCAA preseason top 25 rankings. LSU joins the poll with defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Alabama, No. 5 Georgia, No. 12 South Carolina, No. 16 Vanderbilt, No. 19 Texas A&M, No. 20 Auburn and No. 21 Arkansas.

UL-Monroe to honor former coach Vining

MONROE — The Louisiana-Monroe men’s basketball program will honor former coach Mike Vining by raising a banner featuring the number “402” in a special halftime ceremony during the Warhawks game on Jan. 24, 2015, against Georgia Southern at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

The 402 represents the total number of Vining’s wins over his 24 seasons as ULM coach from 1981-2005.

“The number 402 was selected to incorporate and embody all of Mike’s accomplishments and his countless contributions to the ULM men’s basketball program,” current ULM coach Keith Richard said. “This banner will serve as a symbol of the enduring legacy of Mike Vining, one of the greatest coaches in ULM history and a member of the ULM family.”

Vining is a member of the ULM Hall of Fame, Southland Conference Hall of Honor, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the LABC Hall of Fame.

LSU announces swimming, diving slate

The LSU swimming and diving program released its 2014-15 schedule, co-head coaches Dave Geyer and Doug Shaffer announced Wednesday.

“In this conference you can’t hide from the competition,” Geyer said. “We have a lot of meets in the second half of the season to focus on the details and prepare us for SEC’s and NCAA’s.”

The team begins the season in the renovated LSU Natatorium for the annual Purple and Gold Intrasquad meet on Sept. 26.

The Tigers will host three meets, beginning with Incarnate Word on Nov. 15 and Tennessee on Jan. 10. The Lady Tigers then host Tulane, Houston and Rice Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in a quad meet to end the regular season.

Lady Techsters dismiss guard Lulu Perry

RUSTON — Louisiana Tech women’s coach Tyler Summitt announced Wednesday that guard Lulu Perry was dismissed from the women’s basketball program because of repeated violations of team rules.

“These types of decisions are always tough — and this one is especially hard — but it’s a life lesson that Lulu will hopefully learn from,” Summitt said.

During her Louisiana Tech career, the former Benton High School star saw action in 60 games, making 41 starts. She averaged 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

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